New York sports betting has been a hot topic since Governor Cuomo stated that “New York has the potential to be the largest sports wagering market in the United States” in his January address.
With several active sports betting bills on the table in 2021, the question is: Will mobile sports betting finally become available for NY bettors, and will NY see the same numbers as its neighboring states?
Isn’t Sports Betting already legal?
As of February 2021, sports betting is legal in NY, as long as the wager is placed on the premises of a commercial casino. Although this gives many New Yorkers the option to bet, it is not optimal for the many residents that live at a significant distance from their closest resort.
Covid-19’s Impact on New York
As Covid-19 ravaged the NY economy, with New York State Division of the Budget’s 2021 First Quarterly Update projecting a $14.5 billion General Fund revenue decline and a 15.3% All Funds tax receipts decline from the Budget forecast released in February of the same year, creating a total loss of $62 billion through FY 2024 as a direct consequence of the pandemic, it is now more than ever, essential to explore options that would return revenue to the state, in order to counter the fiscal deficit.
How Sports Betting Can Fuel The Economy
Sports betting as a driver for economic growth is already in practice right next door. New Jersey, legalizing mobile sports betting in 2018 with the NJ Sports Wagering Law, witnessed a drastic climb in state revenue.
In 2020, New Jersey gamblers set a nationwide record for the most money bet on sports in a single month, with September 2020 prompting close to $750 million set in wagers. With this sort of activity circulating revenue in New Jersey’s economy, and with New York being one of the largest sports markets in the world, it is critical to imagine the potential returns if mobile sports betting were to be legalized in New York State.
Is 2021 The Year for Sports Betting in New York?
With that in mind, and the new year rolling in, some good news is that progress on this matter seems to be right around the corner. On January 6th, 2021 Governor Cuomo announced a proposal to enable mobile sports wagering in the 2021 State of the State.
In his address, Cuomo stated: “New York has the potential to be the largest sports wagering market in the United States, and by legalizing online sports betting we aim to keep millions of dollars in revenue here at home, which will only strengthen our ability to rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis.”
This came after his statement on New Jersey’s success, and acknowledgment of the many New Yorkers that are currently using the Garden State’s system to operate. With the idea brought to a formal discussion and the fact that mobile sports gambling is legalized in the bordering states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, it appears that it is only a matter of time before online wagers are able to be placed within the Empire State.